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Sun Apr 27 2014 (Updated 05/04/14)Andy’s Youth Suspended from School Over Six-Month Anniversary Protest
Sun Apr 27 2014 (Updated 05/04/14)At Least Two Dozen Middle School Students Suspended for Demanding Justice for Andy Lopez
On the morning of April 22, dozens of Andy’s Youth gathered in front of Cook Middle School in Santa Rosa to commemorate the six-month anniversary of the murder of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by Sonoma County Deputy Sheriff Erick Gelhaus. The students held up signs in front of the school demanding that DA Ravitch immediately indict Deputy Gelhaus and that the Cook Principal and teachers cease making demeaning and disparaging comments about Andy – such as blaming Andy for his own death by not following “instructions”.
In response, the Cook principal and teachers grabbed the student protesters' signs and locked the school gate prohibiting the students from entering the school premises. Unable to enter their classrooms, the group of protesters marched to nearby Elsie HS to call on the Elsie students to join them. After marching past the police into the school building, demonstrators marched through the halls calling on their fellow students to walkout.
When the suspended students returned to Cook for another protest the next morning, they were allowed back into the school and the principal denied that she locked them out the previous day, despite eyewitness accounts to the opposite.